ARGENTINA

Player attack on female official causes outrage in Argentina

Following the game between Argentinos de Quilmes and Deportivo Merlo, assistant referee Maria Eugenia Rocco claims she was jumped on from behind by Emmanuel Frances.

María Eugenia Rocco, the assistant referee attacked by Emmanuel Frances.

While watching the lower echelons of Argentinian football we witnessed more violence against officials in what has been described by many as 'gender violence'. During the Primera C match between Argentino de Quilmes won 2-1 against Deportivo Merlo with some controversy surrounding the goals. Maria Eugenia Rocco was running the one of the lines.

Maria Eugenia Rocco during the match.

Maria Eugenia Rocco during the match.

Player takes frustration out on official

According to a report in La Nacion, at the end of the game, one of the Deportivo players took exception to her performance and attacked the assistant ref from behind. Rocco spoke after the incident: "He hit me in the neck just after the game had finished".

The official immediately hid within the group of players and then took refuge in the dressing room until police arrived. The referee, Jorge Broggi, who had witnessed what had taken place, went to the police station to corroborate the complaint of his assistant.

Emmanuel Frances, the Deportivo Merlo footballer charged with attacking a female official after a game.

Emmanuel Frances, the Deportivo Merlo footballer charged with attacking a female official after a game.

In the interview with the paper, Rocco stated that she was shocked by what happened:

"I'm used to people from the stands always insulting. But I had never been attacked by a player. Not even by an insult. They are respectful."

Complaint made against Deportivo's Frances

The Deportivo Merlo footballer involved was Emmanuel Frances, has been denounced in another shameful act of violence against women, however, whether the gender of the official changes the outcome of the Argentinian investigation is unclear.

Frances has since spoken and claims that Rocco is an "exaggerator".